Virtualizing social outdoor experiences: chances and risks in education on sustainability in times of Covid-19
The Sustainability Leadership Training (SLT) is a transdisciplinary higher education block course to train future opinion leaders on the concept of sustainable development, using embedded case study methods and outdoor activities to achieve a more effective and more time efficient learning progress and outcome. Mental or social skills such as leadership, instrumental skills such as systems thinking and professional knowledge on economics, ecology and society are part of the transdisciplinary course concept. SLT has been successfully taught for 15 years since the year 2005 at the University of Freiburg, Centre for Key Qualifications, Germany. Since then about 350 students participated directly in the course program with a much higher outreach to other students and the public through the communication and dissemination activities. Learning effects of SLT have been evaluated in a rigorous ex-ante protocol; results suggest that the majority of participants were considerably affected in their behavior of taking leadership in sustainability, despite of the short and intense course time. Mental and instrumental skills were evaluated most important for the professional world. The outdoor activity elements proofed to be of key importance for participation and motivation. Furthermore, the evaluation results are promising to establish such a curriculum in any higher education institution in form of a ‘studium generale’. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic nudged the didactic outdoor elements and physical teaching to be changed to a complete online course, where even the outdoor experiences like rock climbing and mountain biking were either virtualized or self-steered for a first pilot. Evaluations to understand the possibilities and limitations of didactics and tools for digital-virtual and self-controlled social outdoor experiences are ongoing.
Luthe T. and von Kutzschenbach M. 2020. Virtualisierung sozialer Outdoor-Erlebnisse: Chancen und Grenzen der Bildung für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung in Zeiten von Covid-19. e&l, erleben und lernen. Internationale Zeitschrift fuer handlungsorientiertes Lernen. Volume 3.2020. https://www.e-und-l.de/aktuelle-hefte/index.php